Development of a microfluidic device for particle counting and the application of the device for the determination of the total viable count and the number of somatic cells in reference milk sample

(Ongoing Project)



  • Barbaros Çetin
  • Göksel Durkaya (Atılım Universityt- MSE)
  • Duygu Kışla (Ege University-FE)
  • Gülten Gündüz (Ege University-FE)
  • Hüseyin Kurtuldu (AIVLabs)
  • Reza Rasooli


TÜBİTAK 1001 (114M597)

Project Duration:

Start Date: November 1st, 2014
Expected Completion Date: November 1st, 2016


Particle counting is an essential tool for many chemical and biological applications. Conventionally, counting operation is performed by Coulter counter and FACS devices. Generally, these devices are bulky, complex and relatively expensive, and require qualified personnel to operate. In last twenty years, microfluidic systems, which enable processing of fluids in order of millimeters through microchannels, has come into picture as an alternative to conventional techniques. Owing to the unique advantages associated with micro–scale, microfluidic based systems can handle complex analysis at a relatively low cost, with a less energy, less chemicals, and a higher efficiency which makes them a very good option for many biomedical and chemical applications. Moreover, microfluidic systems have potential for automation and portability.

The objective of this project is to develop a microfluidic platform to count particles/cells, and to apply this platform for the determination of the microbial load and the number of somatic cells in milk. In the proposed platform, several different techniques will be assessed: (i) counting of the particles after the separation based on size, (ii) counting of the particles/cells after focusing them at different locations within the microchannel, (iii) counting without any pre-processing. Separation and focusing based on size will be performed by using hydrodynamic particle manipulation techniques. For the counting process, several alternatives will be assessed: (i) single photo-detector based dynamic and static light scattering, (ii) morphological count using 2-D cameras with high resolution, (iii) spectroscopy-correlated counting. In the first phase of the Project, a basic fundamental research will be conducted to determine the amount of sample and the throughput and to characterize the system performance. Especially machining-based micro-fabrication will be utilized to explore different 3-D channel topologies for separation/focusing and counting units. In the last phase of the project, the appropriate techniques among the developed ones with a minimum throughput of at least 1000 particle/s will be applied for the determination of total viable and somatic cell count. For the milk application reference samples will be used and the process will be intended to process 1 ml of milk at most 30 minutes with %90 accuracy compared to conventional methods. The developed microfluidic platform will be portable. It is expected that the whole platform together with the hardware will be at most 4 kg (excluding the computer) with an occupied space of at most 25cmx25cmx25cm.

Related Publications:

    Conference Papers

  • Çetin, B., Kaplan, H., Durkaya, G., Kurtuldu, H. (2016). "Low cost, ultra high throughput particle counting using inertial microfluidics", The 20th Int. Conf. Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (MicroTAS 2016), October 9-13, Dublin, Ireland

  • Rasooli, R., Karaoğlu, O.K., Çetin, B. (2016). "Simulation of particle flow in a spiral microchannel for inertial microfluidics", 5th Micro and Nano Flows Conference, September 11-14, Milan, Italy

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